Panamanian health authorities on Friday approved the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac.
"It is one more opportunity for Panamanians, to have another vaccine here in the country and that more people can be immunized, and achieve herd immunity at some point," said Elvia Lau, director of the Health Ministry's Department of Pharmacies and Drugs.
Officials checked "whether the manufacturing laboratory complies with good manufacturing practices, which is the main thing, which gives us a guarantee that this is a quality product," the ministry said in a statement, urging Panamanians to get vaccinated.
As of Thursday, more than 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Panama, home to over 4 million people.
Panama has registered 357,704 infections and 6,152 deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.